Matchstick Castle: Review

The Matchstick Castle is a thrilling adventure through 6-grader Brian Brown's summer. He arrives at his aunt, uncle, and cousin's home in Boring, Illinois, to find that his uncle is enrolling him in summer school. Before long, Brian realizes that this town really lives up to its name. However, one afternoon after summer school, Brian stumbles into the forbidden woods behind his relative's house, and he gets lost in the deepest part of the wood. After a woodsy adventure of almost being run over by a mysterious wild animal, Brian follows his footsteps and arrives back at his home for the summer. Brian's uncle warns him to NEVER SET FOOT IN THE FOREST AGAIN, but Brian is, naturally, curious. The next day, a situation arises that brings Brian and his cousin, Nora, back into the forest. Brian steals Nora's precious notebook away from her, and she follows him into the forest to get it back. Eventually, they wind up lost in the forest before they stumble upon a makeshift house. An incredible house: a boat on the roof and ivy growing all up the sides. The duo step inside to ask directions to get back home, and, soon after, a young boy comes out. This boy's name in Cosmo van Dash, and he lives here with his uncles, almost all of whom are either explorers or authors. The cousins spend quite a long time their, fighting massive Amazonian wasps and the such, before realizing the time and sprinting back home. However, before Brian leaves, he accidentally takes a piece of the van Dash’s mail! Back home, Brian and Nora are grounded for setting foot in the forest, and eventually Brian opens the piece of mail that he stole….

This piece of mail is from the Boring City Hall, and it states that something terrible must be done to the Matchstick Castle. Brian tells Nora and they agree that they MUST tell the van Dash family immediately, and so they secretly escape from their house. Back at the Matchstick Castle, the cousins embark on an expedition to find Cosmos father, who was most likely lost in the ginormous house, and to help the van Dash family save their castle!

Read ‘The Matchstick Castle’ by Keir Graff to figure out what happens next. If you read and liked this book, make sure to read Graff's other book, The Other Felix.

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